On June 12, 2017 the ICO of Bancor took place. ICO means Initial Coin Offering, similar to IPO (Initial Public Offering) in the stock market. ICOs take place in the world of cryptocurrencies and they are a quite recent type of phenomenon, which has existed for a few years only. By the way of ICOs the developers of interesting projects (usually some new cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency related instrument) can collect the money they need to actually develop it and if the project will be successful the initial buyers of the ICO will earn from the rise in price of the coins they bought during the ICO. In some cases, however, if not everybody who wishes to buy into the ICO actually manages to buy, the price typically goes to the moon as soon as the coin hits the market, as everyone tries to jump on the boat before it leaves the port. And there are hints that this is what could happen to Bancor in the coming days. Continua a leggere
by Roberto Quaglia – – roberto.info
Today I’d like to spend a few words on a specialistic theme most of the people still know little or nothing about, and which nevertheless in the future will have an important impact on the lives of all of us. You’ve certainly have already heard of Bitcoin. But perhaps, you likely are missing all details.
More than that, you are probably missing the sequels – I’m talking about the other coins which seek to become an alternative to Bitcoin. Of course here we won’t be able to clear all mysteries on this subject, but we can offer you a little panoramic. Bitcoin is an electronic currency which has been created in 2009, and it basically consists in a distributed peer-to-peer database which ideally is shared by everyone who holds any unit of this coin. This ensures that the circulating coins cannot be counterfeit. Also the emission of bitcoin is ruled in a certain way, in a way which is established in advance and is unchangeable, by the way of a process called Proof of Work which consists in the solving of a specific algorithm with variable difficulty. This is a minting process everybody can theoretically take part to, but in the real world it’s now reserved to those who can afford the increasingly expensive dedicated computers and even more than that all the electricity that these machines consume.
When Bitcoin was created, in 2009, it was nothing worth. The first enthusiasts who adopted it where producing thousands of coins every few days and then they had no idea what to do with them. In May 2010 a man called Lazlo offered to pay 10,000 bitcoins to whoever was willing to send him 2 pizzas. It took some time before someone cared to accept his 10,000 bitcoins offer and finally Lazlo succeeded in buying his two nice pizzas. Not too bad, he must have thought, two real, concrete, tasty and eatable pizzas in exchange with a handful of electrons and some weird string of ASCII characters on the screen of his computer. Did Lazlo do a good deal? It depends on how good were those two pizzas in the end. At the exchange rate of a few days ago, May 25, 2017, seven years later those 10,000 bitcoins are today worth more or less 26 million dollars.
Lazlo today can boast about having eaten the most expensive pizzas in the world, which by the way are getting more and more expensive as time goes by. Just in the past few months Bitcoin has doubled once again its value, reaching a max capitalization of 44 billion USD. Continua a leggere
by Roberto Quaglia – roberto.info
After Trump’s victory in the American presidential election, Gianluigi Paragone led an episode of the show “The Open Cage” where, among others, faced Giulietto Chiesa and Marcello Foa, two very different journalists, with radically different origins and stories, two different political backgrounds, in short, two people who, according to the logic in which we grew up, would disagree on just about everything.
Instead, analyzing, not only the outcome of the American elections, but the entire contemporary international political landscape, Chiesa and Foa’s vision matched in a surprising way. Surprisingly, according to the old way of understanding politics, but so not surprising according to the paradigm of the 2.0 Politics.
Politics that we are used to, we could call the 1.0 Politics, is now over. It was the politics of ideologies that are no longer there, in a society made up of people with group identities that are disappearing, placed in a world without the internet that no longer exists, where the shared reality created by the media was undeniable, which, thanks to the Internet no longer exists.
Of course, the 1.0 politics has its fair share of inertia and will cause important damages within the convulsions of its agony. Of course we do not know how the 2.0 politics will be. We can’t predict the future. But we know that its increased traction force will come from aggregating power of the network. And that, above all, it could not be independent from reality, at least not to the extent that the reality, today, is independent from 1.0 Politics. Continua a leggere
As an essayist, I’m working on research considering the manipulation of Hollywood movies. This is nothing new; there are many books about it. But there is always something to learn. In a way, sociology has been weaponized by Hollywood and it is well known that many Hollywood producers officially collaborate with the Pentagon. This means that screenplays go to the Pentagon where analysts advise them in terms of political agenda. The Pentagon offers a lot of help in exchange for this collaboration. Continua a leggere
I am a science fiction writer and particular interested about what is happening in this field. I’m also interested in Politics – I wrote a book about September 11 and other things which are happening today. I’m also particularly interested in searching links between the reality and the world of imagination, represented by science fiction.
We are living in a very strange age, in which reality has turned weirder than in many science fiction scenarios. For a century or so, science fiction has been an intellectual movement of people who would understand the present very well and imagine a future that would extrapolate from what writers would understandand about the present. Mainly they were futures which would be different due to technological developments, but starting from the 50s and 60s, with writers like Robert Sheckley, it became also a future which would be different from sociological point of view. Extrapolation would be a more complex one than the one focused only on technology.
Today we are living in the age, where technological development, both the hard science and technological applications, as well as the sociological “black science” – sociology weaponized by the military- has led science fiction authors of being suppressed by reality. It is very difficult to write science fiction when you don’t know all the things that actually had been invented and when you don’t understand sociological manipulations which are taking place. Continua a leggere
by Roberto Quaglia
It may still be too early to come to a definitive conclusion on the Brussels terrorist attacks. However, after just 48 hours, the event is already verging on the surreal, as is usually the case with these kinds of events in the Brave New Western World. The head of the Ukrainian secret services would like us to know that he wouldn’t be surprised if “Russia is behind the Brussels attack”. This is the type of person Western journalists turn to for explanations of what has been going on in Ukraine over the past two years. Keep that in mind next time the news talks about the crisis in Ukraine.
Turkish president Erdogan stated he is ready to help Brussels fight terrorism, just a few days after stating that “There is no reason why bombs exploding in Ankara could not explode in Brussels.” I imagine that the next logical step will be “There is no reason why democracy in Brussels can’t be abolished like it has been in Turkey.” (Obviously, the use of the word “democracy” here has to be considered exclusively in the light of poetic license.) And to highlight the truly surreal surrealism, we also need to remember that in an interview for Bel-RTL on the 26th of April 2013, Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, talking about Belgian jihadists, stated: “Perhaps we will erect a monument to them as revolutionary heroes.” Perhaps someone should ask him now: Has that time come? Continua a leggere
by Roberto Quaglia – roberto.info
Science fiction fans have been suffering, ever since the dawn of this genre of literature, from a rather sad complex: the awareness of living at the margins of the dominant culture, regarded with some snobbery if not full contempt by the habitués of the great literary prizes, not to mention Academy Award or Nobel Prize winners. A sort of “ghetto” complex, the awareness of being destined to stay confined forever in the extreme periphery of the dominant culture. In the SF community in time everybody has at some point complained bitterly about this exclusion, from Isaac Asimov down to the latest arrival in so-called fandom. Great authors like Kurt Vonnegut, who indeed have written science fiction, have repudiated the science-fictionality of their works for fear of being belittled.
And it was fatally inevitable that after decades of enduring humiliations one fine day someone in SF fandom would decide they had enough and that the moment of revenge had come, against a stolid and foolish world. And what better retaliation against an ungrateful world than to destroy it by the way of a nice world war? Continua a leggere
by Roberto Quaglia
The big question of today’s global geopolitics is whether the world will go towards a unipolar world indefinitely dominated by the USA (Americans proudly – or arrogantly – call this Full Spectrum Dominance) or instead will move towards a multipolar world where different centres of power coexist.
From the economic point of view the world is already multipolar, the US share of the world gross product being just around 18% (2013 data), and constantly decreasing. So how come the US is still so dominant globally? Its gigantic military budget is not the reason, since you can’t realistically bomb the whole world. Continua a leggere
A book by Roberto Quaglia – 600 pages of modern and enlightening heresy
This is a book about the Myth of September 11. About the facts and the motives behind this myth, the smokescreens of the war of perception and the psychology and insanity connected with this. To expose this myth completely is a modern blasphemy, an unbearable heresy; it’s the Satanic Verses of Western Democracy.
This is a taboo argument that cannot be freely discussed on TV, in the press or in Parliaments. As more and more people stop believing in the dogmatic Official Version of the events of September 11, 2001, an increasingly sophisticated manipulation of social attitudes is necessary to keep Western institutions from crumbling under the weight of their own contradictions. Continua a leggere
(This essay has been published on the official Souvenir Book of Intersection, the 53rd World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) which was held in Glasgow, Scotland in 1995)
In almost all the science fiction books I’ve read what has always surprised me is the presumed absence of science fiction itself from humanity’s future. The past and present science fiction writers have written a multitude of stories which take place in thousands of futures basically different from our present. However, oddly, in none of these futures exists what actually gives rise to them, that is science fiction. Of course there are a few exceptions. Now and then there will be the shy showing up of a science fiction writer as a character, but this is quite unusual. All the same, such a character is generally no more than an elementary projection of the author himself, a sort of self-quotation, something close to Hitchkock’s walk-on parts in his own movies. More often the future described by science fiction writers does not take into consideration SF. Why? Why do science fiction writers seem to constantly forget to include SF literature in the futures they tell us about? Do they avoid talking about it because they think that in the future SF literature won’t be much different than today? Do they really commit such an ingenuous mistake? Or don’t they know what to say about it? Or didn’t it ever come to them that it is reasonable to think that SF will exist in the future? All these writers are willing and glad to talk about the past of science fiction and are telling us all the time about it’s history. Why is there all this attention and care for the past, and almost none for the future? When SF writers talk about SF, why do they always use the past tense instead of the future? Continua a leggere